Later, we sat around Milo’s large dining room table listening to him recount the last weeks of his life as he gorged himself on a dinner fit for a king. His resurrection had left him famished. Milo explained that it was Saul Lupov who had replaced Fasid as the new High Priest of Cthulhu and the two were in a battle to accumulate as many of the Star Spawn of Cthulhu as possible – Lupov wanted them to hasten the awakening of Cthulhu and Milo wanted them to prevent Lupov’s mad plans. From what I gathered, the Star Spawn of Cthulhu were artifacts which act as a gateway for consciousness of the ancient Deep Ones. These Star Spawn came from the deepest reaches of space in some long forgotten epoch of time with the Deep Ones. They appear in various guises but most people would mistake them for strange metals.
Milo thought he was winning the chess match with Lupov because he had managed to secure many of these artifacts, but Lupov was well aware of Milo’s location and chose the opportune moment to attack him and take the artifacts from his mansion. Tanner asked Milo if he had any idea where Lupov might be taking them. I don’t know how he knew it, but he replied, “The Wetumpka impact crater.” And within the hour Milo, Tanner, and I were driving to a local airstrip where Milo kept his private jet. Devon remained at Milo’s estate to pore over those accursed tomes in search of something Milo had instructed him to find. We flew to Alabama and landed at a small airport just outside of Coosada. On the way Milo laid out his plan to us. The plan seemed insane to me but the previous forty-eight hours of my life had been one madness piled atop another. I asked him what made him so sure that Lupov would be there. He explained that he had learned why the crater was so important to the Cthulhu cult. It was the location where the Great Cthulhu and his Star Spawn had landed on Earth in the dark, distance past. He further explained that if his assumptions about the moon phases were correct, Lupov would be active this night – it was the 25th of May; a full moon.
Milo had an SUV waiting for us at the airstrip. Before setting off to Wetumpka, Milo phoned Devon and the two conversed for nearly a half-hour. The entire time, Milo wrote copious notes filled strange words, symbols, and diagrams. It took us less than thirty minutes to snake our way through the backwoods of Wetumpka that led to caldera of the impact crater. Tanner drove and we navigated by his GPS. Milo directed Tanner to pull over at the bend of a dark road and we all got out. Tanner rummaged through a backpack with God knows what gear in it and produced two flashlights. He also pulled out a machete and a pistol. Milo said, “We’re going to need a different sort of weapon tonight.” Tanner didn’t even acknowledge the comment as he shoved the pistol into the small of his back and thrust the backpack at me. With me carrying the backpack, Milo carrying his notes, and Tanner leading the way hacking the foliage with the machete, we set off into the thick woods.
After what seemed like an eternity of steady progress through the thick forest, we eventually saw a light emanating through the woods in the distance. Milo ordered us to quench our flashlights and we began to creep forward as quietly as possible. Painstakingly slow and stealthy we inched forward until we could finally behold a small fire burning atop a large stone altar. The flickering light from the fire illuminated what could only be the figure of Saul Lupov draped in a large cloak.
Scattered about Lupov were numerous objects of various shapes and sizes. All of them appeared to be metallic and many of them reflected the firelight in shimmering dances of light which had me mesmerized; colors that no man had yet seen or named. These were, of course, the Star Spawn of Cthulhu. And, as I watched, I saw these strange metallic objects began to change and morph and even move across the ground as if imbued with life!
We watched from the cover of the trees for several minutes and then Lupov reached up to the cowl covering his head and pulled back the hood. What I beheld sent a shock through my body and I reflexively gasped in horror nearly giving away our position. Where there should have been hair upon his head, there was a mass of writhing, churning tentacles. They were long and slimy and the skin was lumpy and venous. Each one ended in a sort of rudimentary mouth that seemed to suck or grope the air as if searching for something to latch onto. The effect was made all the more nightmarish by the flickering lights cast by the fire, the shimmering colors of the metallic objects and the sickly, yellow glow cast by the full moon high above.
I stared bewildered by the shock of what I beheld and tried to control my nerves, but things suddenly took a drastic turn for the worse. Suddenly, my attention was drawn to another figure entering the circle of firelight and I realized that it was Milo Brecklin. He had heard something in that alien babbling that had alerted him to the fact that it was now time to strike. The only recognizable words I could make out were “Cthulhu” and “R’lyeh” from Lupov. Milo held the notebook beneath the beam of one of the flashlights and began to chant a different but just as alien phrase while casting what appeared to be a fine powder before him. I felt a tugging at my back and spun around in fright swinging wildly. Tanner ducked the haymaker I had sent his way and grabbed me shaking me to my senses. He was merely trying to get the backpack from me. While removing the backpack Tanner and I were startled by a piercing shriek. It was Lupov howling in fury like some wild monster. He had finally seen Milo.
Lupov left off his chant for a moment as the rage spread across his deformed face. He started up another phrase that was thick and low, apparently trying to counter what Milo was conjuring. Then he broke into a full run and slammed into Milo, smoothly tackling him and driving him to the ground. Tanner leapt away towards them pulling something from the backpack that looked like a large, cruel dagger of some unknown substance.
It was at this moment that I first noticed the smoke. It was low to the ground and seemed to be forming a great circle around the stone altar. Dark and sinuous, it began to coalesce and swirl in an increasing counterclockwise motion. Lupov drove several strikes into Milo’s face but Milo continued to chant the weird phrase through the blows. Then Lupov lowered his face to Milo’s and the tentacles shot forth and latched onto Milo’s head. Milo howled in tormented pain. Tanner arrived just then and grabbed Lupov by the back of the head and raised the dagger high. The smoke had begun to thicken considerably and the last thing I saw of the three men before the smoke completely enveloped them was the Star Spawn of Cthulhu wash over them like a liquid, metal wave and Tanner driving home the dagger into Lupov’s back.
It’s hard to say whether it was Lupov or Milo who had succeeded in their respective spells because whatever demon that crawled forth from the abyss at that moment didn’t choose sides. All three men were taken indiscriminately back into the void from which it crawled. The smoke had formed a huge pillar that completely shut out the firelight and a loud rumble announced the arrival of the beast. It was as if the earth were violently heaving forth some massive behemoth. I wasted no time in hanging around to behold much more. I ran out of primitive, naked fear through the dark woods not even noticing the briars and branches that tore at my body. A cold wind rushed past me and I glanced back one last time to behold a malformed, giant appendage emerge from the smoke. It had to be nearly ten feet long and looked like the antennae of a giant insect. At the tip of it was a massive compound eye that scanned the darkened woods and I swear to God that it locked on me! But then I heard the final cry from Milo Brecklin through the chaos of the blackest insanity I have ever known. “Tekeli-li! Tekeli-li!” And then I ran and never looked back again.
Once I was out of that accursed forest, I entertained the idea of contacting the local authorities, but what would I tell them? So, I just drove. After a while I decided to call Devon and explain to him what had happened. After hearing my frantic retelling of the night’s events, he told me that there was no use contacting the police. He assured me that they would find no trace of the three men.
I suppose that there is nothing more to tell. My testimony, along with this box of documents, gives the entirety of the tale. I trust that you will have the fortitude and the resources to take this information and continue the work of Milo Brecklin, for now I see just how important his work was.
And finally, as for me, don’t bother trying to find me. The chaos and the fear have enveloped me to the point that I can longer escape their sway. By the time you read this, I will have ended this madness!
Good luck and Godspeed, Inspector!